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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-10-07, 09:55 AM   #1
Bolo Grubb
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Rain gear. Give me some good suggestions for rain gear.

With all the rain we have had the last few days in Tucson, I realize that I need some decent rain gear for cycling.

Most of my commute rides range between 2 miles and 12 miles. I would like to get to work mostly dry and mostly clean. This is all pavement riding but the rain washes alot of dirt and road grim to the sides of the road.

What do you suggest?
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Old 12-10-07, 11:45 AM   #2
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Fenders will keep you (+bike and clothing clean)
The amount of waterproofing you need depends on the temp. For cold temps you need waterproofs, for milder tems, water resistance is adaquate and more comfortable since no waterproof is sufficiently breathable.
In colder weather, water proof or resistant pants can be useful.
Feet get wet and cold. racers use overbooties but these are a hastle to use on every ride.
waterproof socks are a good solution if your footwear leaks.
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Old 12-10-07, 01:12 PM   #3
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I just upgraded to a set of rain pants from J & G CYCLEWEAR. These are made on the USA and are replacing a cheapy set from Coleman that tore after 4 or 5 uses. I did not get the breathable kind as I figure that during rain the breathability factor will be pretty much useless. So far the pants from J&G are famatstic. They fit well, they have nice large opening so that if you need to put them on in a hurry while traveling you can do so without taking your shoes off. There is also a nice reflective stip that tightens up the lower cuf. The size was fine as well. I normally wear a size 38 pant, and the size Large (selected using their size chart) fits fine. The pants are made of a nylon coated material so it should not tear easily, and being made in the USA is a nice bonus. Price delivered to my house was $46.

Happy riding,
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Old 12-10-07, 01:17 PM   #4
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You didn't mention a price range, but I recommend Showers Pass. I have the elite jacket and the rain pants.

This morning was 10 miles in 30 degree freezing rain. I had both the jacket and rain pants on and underneath a long sleeved shirt and MTB shorts. Plenty warm and plenty dry.
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Old 12-10-07, 01:42 PM   #5
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Fenders, North Face Venture Jacket, and Nike Waterproof Cycling pants.

There are a handful of options for your feet, depending on the rain.
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Old 12-10-07, 01:42 PM   #6
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I'll second J&G. I don't have their pants (yet) but I've had a jacket for > 2 years now. It does not show any wear whatsoever. I've worn it every day that it was < about 45*F, plus any day it was raining < 65 or if it was raining hard or doing something stupid like hailing and warm. Probably 300 days of use. I've fallen on the ice on it once, came down on an elbow and scraped, but it doesn't show it at all.
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Old 12-11-07, 11:24 AM   #7
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For me it is still not worth getting the rain gear. It is very rare to have rain below 45F here and I never really need to arrive at destination dry/clean as I have a shower.

I just get soaked. I do have an REI cycling rain jacket I bought a few years ago, but only once used it in 45F rain and I still overheated - it is not breathable, but has arm pit openings. I use it now for the rare sub-32F rides.

Al
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Old 12-11-07, 03:15 PM   #8
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+1 for the Showers Pass Elite jacket and rain pants.
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Old 12-11-07, 04:30 PM   #9
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i got a $9 vented, hooded rain coat and pants/bib set at a local hardware store. i don't have fenders on my bike, but with the suit worn over my uniform (this weekend was very rainy/yucky) i was quite dry and comfortable at the end of my 3.5 mile commute. i don't think one has to spend like mad to be comfortable. how long this suit will last me, however, remains to be seen. also, i don't pay much attention to aerodynamics, so if that's important to you, this probably isn't the way to go.
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Old 12-11-07, 04:44 PM   #10
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+1 on fenders, they go a long way toward keeping you and your bike cleaner. In Tucson I wouldn't invest in anything more than a cheap rain jacket. I commute in Portland, and seldom wear rain gear. Maybe 10% of the time in winter at most. Even then it's only a jacket. Most of the time a water resistant windbreaker is sufficient. Also a helmet cover is good, but you can use a shower cap. Neoprene socks work well if it's cold and wet. Good gloves are worth the investment, though.
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Old 12-11-07, 04:56 PM   #11
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IMO Showers Pass is the way to go. They're jacket keeps me dry and warm. It makes a terrific outer shell in the cold stuff. In the warmer months it keeps me dry and very little sweating, as in none. But not totally. Anyway, I can't say enough about this jacket. It makes an excellent year-round jacket. Spend the extra bucks on good, quality gear. The lower half I wear RAINSHIELD 02 3FLOW PERFORMANCE SERIES PANTS. These keep me dry and warm. Can't go wrong with this combo. On the feet I use Louis Garneau Stop-tech shoe covers. They're light and good to about 35f.
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Old 12-11-07, 05:54 PM   #12
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We use the O2 Cycling jacket for all-around rain jacket in Tucson. Pit zips, fluorescent yellow and drawstring bottom, if needed. O2 Cycling also has rainpants.
An emergency rain jacket is a big plastic garbage bag . . . cut 2 holes for arms and 1 hole for the head . . . presto!
It does not rain that often in the desert, so expensive raingear is not a necessity.
Do not commute any more (retired!).
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Old 12-11-07, 07:11 PM   #13
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First priority: fenders. Any cheap-o full fenders will work wonders.

Second: jacket. I have the Showers Pass Elite 2, which is phenomenal. Nice and waterproof, and quite breathable (which is vital to me, since I overheat really easily). I don't wear rain pants, because I always overheat and arrive looking like a steamed lobster.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:26 PM   #14
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If you are on a tight budget get a loose pair of shoes then slip a pair of plastic bread bags over your socks before putting your shoes on. I googled the climate for Tuscon and doubt you need something as good as Showers Pass raingear.
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Old 12-11-07, 08:24 PM   #15
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red ledge has cheap waterproof gear, pants and jacket were $70. I just bought some hincappe windtex shoe covers too for $50. I'm very dry when I get to my commute other than the sweat that builds up.
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Old 12-11-07, 08:54 PM   #16
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Best cycling rain jacket you can get is a showerspass. If its 55+ F degrees though id recomend a windshirt instead. Either a patagonia houdini or the one I use, a montane marathon.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:47 PM   #17
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We use the O2 Cycling jacket
+1
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Old 12-12-07, 01:13 AM   #18
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+1 for the ShowersPass Elite. One of, if not the, most well thought-out and functional piece of cycling equipment I own.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:22 AM   #19
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I've got to say, with whatever you go with, the invention of the waterproof jacket is brilliant - it is not nearly as lovely when coupled with the water-absorbent pant. So look into some kind of waterproof pant as well.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:01 PM   #20
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Most of my Tucson rain gear came from the Goodwill stores on Speedway east of Swan, or 22nd street and Kolb. We just don't get enough rain to make a big investment in rain wear, and it always amazes me how much stuff there is at those stores with store labels still attached. My jackets are rip-stop nylon windbreakers with nylon hoods and vented armpits. The pants are similar material. One is of the running suit style (no pockets), the other is a pair of nylon cargo pants. I've sewn some Velcro strips at the hems of the cargo pants to tighten them at the ankles, and find them preferable to the first pair. None of this stuff is truly waterPROOF, but it works well enough. And it is just water, after all.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:05 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb View Post
What do you suggest?
Waterproof shoe covers. You'd be *AMAZED* how much more pleasant it is to ride in wet and cold weather with these.

Mine look sorta like these: http://cgi.ebay.com/NALINI-PIOGGIA-R...sid=p1638.m118, except I got them for $15 shipped from someone else on eBay, don't remember who exactly.

They are really amazingly waterproof, easy to take on/off, and don't interfere with cleats.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:06 PM   #22
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+1 for the Showerspass Elite again. I wear mine almost everyday when it gets cool. It hasn't rained much this year here, but this jacket also does a great job of keeping the wind out if you close the vents. It also is bright and has reflective material, so it really is useful even when it isn't raining.

When it does rain and is cold, I have some waterproof pants that I wear and I put on wool socks under my cycling sandals. The socks keep my feet warm and the sandals are made to get wet. I look like a dork though.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:56 PM   #23
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When it does rain and is cold, I have some waterproof pants that I wear and I put on wool socks under my cycling sandals. The socks keep my feet warm and the sandals are made to get wet. I look like a dork though.
I rode 9mi home yesterday 47F & hard rain. Longsleeve poly baselayer with poly T-shirt over it, cycling shorts, & knee warmers. But most important - cycling sandals with thick wool socks. Yes my feet were soaked thru, but warm. My fingers were cold though with lightweight fingerless gloves.
At home I threw everything in the washer and took a warm shower.

Al
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Old 10-31-08, 11:45 AM   #24
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So what is the difference between the Showers Pass Elite, Elite 2.0, and Touring jackets? Other than the price difference that is.

Also I've been looking at the very lightweight, packable O2 jacket and pants. They feel a little cheap, has anyone had any experience with them as far as durability and waterproofness go?
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Old 10-31-08, 11:48 AM   #25
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I read a thread recently that claimed Showers Pass would be introducing a new jacket next month, so it may be worth waiting to check that out or get the older models for cheaper. The Elite is the first version of their top-of-the-line jacket, and the Elite 2.0 is the second version.
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